It’s 2047, and a third world war and climate change have left billions dead. A new global government has created a set of emergency laws to facilitate humanity’s survival. Allen “Mercy” Quincy enforces new environmental standards. But Allen isn’t without his demons, not the least of which is the unknown location of his two sons. He suffers from PTSD and journals as a process of “mnemectomy”—attempting to degrade unwanted memories by placing them outside of himself. But memory is a difficult thing to escape, and when Allen’s selfish, selfdestructive brother Leo reappears, begging him to travel north to their family’s cabin on Vancouver Island, Allen is besieged by the past. The book, presented as a pair of journals uncovered in 2072, is part cautionary tale, part survival narrative. Each journal has its own feel: the first details Allen’s daytoday life and his brief affair with a dancer; the second is more introspective, with days and weeks bleeding together as Allen and Leo confront one another. Casper (The Reconstruction) employs clear, concise prose that at a steady clip, and the exploration, through one man’s account, of what it means to outlive one’s purpose is tightly constructed if not especially groundbreaking.
Here’s a link to my short story commissioned by SubTerrain Magazine It’s about the absurd hubris of life extension services. I can’t think of this story without laughing with wicked glee. Suggestions have been made to turn it into a novel. That thought rolls around my still attached head. Online version, with illustrations by the […]
In which I learn, after the alarming discovery that my mind tends to exhaustive lists of exceptions to any statement, the power of the declarative sentence.
Claudia Casper’s third novel, The Mercy Journals (Arsenal 2016), first reviewed by Joan Givner in BC BookWorld, has won the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award for the best work of science fiction published in paperback for the first time in the USA in 2016. The announcement was made on April 14, 2017 at the Norwescon 40 conference, in […]
philip k. dick, literary awards, science fiction, the mercy journals “I think of writers as mostly a horizontal tribe, people who work beside each other, people who avoid hierarchies. And then we publish a book, if we’re lucky, and our publishers, if they’re good publishers, enter our book into contests. And suddenly, we’re pitted against other writers for a prize that only […]
Reviewed by Joan Givner, Jan 20, 2017 Link: https://bcbooklook.com/2016/07/21/trumps-wall-foretold/ Claudia Casper’s new novel adds to a growing body of work designated as “cli-fi,” a genre distinct from sci-fi and fantasy, because the horrors described are not futuristic fantasies but predictions of a certain future. Fans of Casper’s highly successful first novel, The Reconstruction, will find The Mercy Journals (Arsenal […]
Published Jan 24, 2018 So a few months ago, I attended an event at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival where my close friend, poet, novelist, and educator Aislinn Hunter, was interviewing renowned author Eileen Myles. I went, not because I was familiar with Myles’ work, though what I found on YouTube more than piqued my […]